The Road to Independence Isn’t a Road

For the past five years, whenever Wee One has asked me to play with her, my heart has melted (though less in the last year or so), and I have said yes. Even when I’ve originally said no, I have eventually acquiesced. As I have, I’ve thought to myself, ‘She won’t always want to be close to me. Enjoy it while you can. Say yes while you can.’

The problem is that she doesn’t often play independently while I do other things, like read or write or crochet or sew, so I’m often just dicking around on my phone during odd moments between playing dolls (which I have always hated) or blocks (I love) or pretending to be the Queen Mother or Big Sister or Evil or Good Witch, which corresponding voices for each. (WO has a great imagination!)

But today is different. Today she is playing in the living room and invited me to play. I said, “No, thank you.”

“You don’t want to play with me?” (Fuck. I’m rejecting my kid. I’m a shitty mother and gonna give her a complex.)

“Not right now, thank you. I’ll be writing right here. You can play independently now and we’ll play soon.” (I did it. Awesome.)

Only now she is starting to ask, “Then who’s going to play with me?” Lucky me, I get to lecture about being an only child and independent and self-entertainment is a skill that will serve her well through her whole life while my heart is simultaneously hoping and breaking about giving her a younger sibling. But the short version.

So far so good. She’s deep in a scene between several of her dolls.

This is nice. I’m not all anxious right now. Experiment is successful.

***

Uh oh. My husband just left the room. Okay. This is going to get so much harder. Wish me luck.)

Okay, your turn.

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